The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has inaugurated an Aviation Monitoring Committee for 2019 Hajj.
The committee was inaugurated on Thursday by the chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed, at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja.
The team, according to a statement by the spokesperson of NAHCON, Fatima Usara on Thursday, is expected, among other duties, “to evaluate status of different airports from where Muslim pilgrims will be airlifted to the holy land.”
She said the committee is also expected to make recommendations to NAHCON as well as other air transport agencies on the state of readiness of the airports for the airlift of pilgrims.
“The committee is also expected to evaluate equipment for luggage screening, luggage conveyance and quality of utilities at the airports for use by pilgrims.
“Additionally, they are to liaise with airports’ authority on the provision of standard services for pilgrims similar to what is enjoyed by international travellers,” Mrs Usara said.
The NAHCON spokesperson said the committee is to liaise with the commission’s central security committee to evolve new strategies against human and drug related trafficking during Hajj, to broaden the already existing security measures at the airports.
Inaugurating the committee, Mr Muhammad reminded the members that their job is instrumental to the success of 2019 Hajj operations considering the fact that airlift comprise a large percentage of the operation. Therefore, their role includes monitoring both inbound and outbound flights, ensuring compliance with airports rules, flight schedules by state pilgrims’ boards as well as airline operators.
Responding, the chairman of the committee who doubles as a NAHCON board member, Aminu Dutse from the Ministry of Aviation, acknowledged the enormity of the task ahead of them.
While accepting the assignment, Mr Dutse pledged to work hard to realise their mandate as advised by the NAHCON chief.
The nine-member committee comprises aviation professionals drawn from the Ministry of Aviation, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority (FAAN), Nigeria Airports Management Authority (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Accident Investigation Bureau and NAHCON aviation specialists.
The committee has since begun sitting.